Esquire (UK) - - CULTURE -


Hot Chicken Shack will not win any for in­te­rior de­sign. Not that it could care as it serves up the best hot fried chicken in

The Dolly Par­ton of deep fried poul­try, no And by hot, I mean cayenne hot, blow-your­filthy. If you so de­sire. The birds are

in but­ter­milk, then dredged in cayenne flour of vary­ing heats, then deep fried in and bat­tered iron skil­lets.

on the edge of a glum shop­ping pa­rade, of the less salu­bri­ous parts of town, Prince’s

per­fect­ing its art since 1945. The floor is in tatty lino, a TV blares in the cor­ner and the dec­o­ra­tion a few tat­tered posters for con­certs past. You join the queue (and there’s al­ways eue), and or­der your chicken (whole, half, leg

through a small hatch, choose your heat plain to XXX Hot), then sit back and wait. Fif­teen min­utes later and your name is called. The bur­nished bird (golden in its mild in­car­na­tion, black as Satan’s soul at XXX) sits atop two slices of Mighty White bread, stained red with cayenne, and topped with a cou­ple of pickles. The crust is thick and crisp, the flesh im­pos­si­bly suc­cu­lent, gush­ing sweet juice. Go for medium-hot if you want to ac­tu­ally taste any­thing for the next few hours and not have your tongue trans­formed into a use­less mass of throb­bing gris­tle. Which is just one of the ef­fects of the peer­less XXX. This bas­tard’s a builder, creep­ing and grow­ing un­til tears stream down your face, and even think­ing hurts. “It ain’t chat­tin’ food,” I was once told by former mayor of Nashville Bill Pur­cell, a huge fan. He was right, but Prince’s still serves up some of the best damn fried chicken I’ve ever eaten in my life.

Food & Drink Spe­cial

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